The new hot thing for losing weight is a procedure available in Europe that starts with a swallowing a pill and ends with a balloon in the gut.
The product, called Obalon, works thusly:
The Obalon balloon includes a small capsule attached to a slender tube. You simply swallow the capsule, and follow it with a glass of water. No sedation is required. Gas is used to inflate the balloon, and the tube is removed. Once in place, the balloon resides at the top of the stomach so you'll feel full sooner. Up to 3 balloons can be placed to continue to facilitate weight loss over the 12-week treatment. At the end of this period, the balloons are removed in a short endoscopic procedure.
The Independent reports that during the clinical trials for Obalon, patients lost an average of 17 pounds over the three month period.
As the FDA continues to crackdown on bogus (and dangerous) weight loss products, the "feel fuller, eat less" strategy is often utilized by companies trying to promote their weight loss product or plan as healthy. Obalon sounds like a slightly less invasive variation of gastric bypass: make the stomach smaller so the person can't eat as much. But despite how similar their approach is to other stuff on the weight loss market, Obalon Corporate still wants to make it clear that they're "changing how you think about weight loss." Because why else would you get it if it wasn't new and interesting?